A superb late strike from Herbie Kane gave Liverpool U23s all three points from a hard-fought 2-1 win against Everton in the mini-derby in Kirkby on Saturday.

The Reds midfielder picked up the ball on the left edge of the penalty box and struck a wonderful effort past Harry Tyrer in the opposition goal to end an exciting week for the Academy on a huge high.

The tight Premier League 2 contest had looked to be heading for a draw after Tony Gallacher’s deflected first-half hit had been cancelled out by Everton’s Dennis Adeniran before the break.

Watch: U23s 2-1 Everton - the goals

Three players involved in the incredible Anfield win over Arsenal in midweek started this one – Pedro Chirivella, Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones.

In rain-soaked conditions the first chance of the game fell to the visitors after five minutes when a long diagonal ball from right-back caught out two Reds players.

Adeniran latched on to the opportunity and he shot across Ben Winterbottom, who saved well before his defence cleared it away for a corner.

On 16 minutes, though, it was Liverpool who took the lead.

Elliott’s pull-back from the byline found Kane and he laid it off to full-back Gallacher, whose low strike beat Tyrer via a deflection.

Jones’ quick feet were causing Everton problems and he found a wonderful pass to Kane halfway through the period but a defender intervened just as the midfielder was about to pull the trigger.

Yasser Larouci again filled in as a striker, working tirelessly for the team, and his attempted overhead kick was on target but lacked the pace to trouble Tyrer.

The equaliser arrived on 38 minutes through the dangerous Adeniran, who held off James Norris, moved into the box and found the far corner with a cross-shot to make it level at the break.

Chances were again at a premium in the second half with both defences coping well with any threats.

Chirivella fired a free-kick over before making a superb block at the other end when Tyler Onyango pulled a decent ball back to substitute Harry Charsley at the near post.

Charsley could perhaps have done better with a header he put well over from a corner before Kane tried a range-finder with a free-kick which was too close to Tyrer.

Everton had the ball in the net on 78 minutes but Charsley was well offside at a corner and it was the Reds who were to finish stronger.

Jones picked a loose ball up and curled a low effort just wide, before Kane made his decisive intervention three minutes later to seal the win for Liverpool.

Liverpool U23s: Winterbottom, Gallacher, Norris, Clayton, Boyes, Chirivella, Elliott, Dixon-Bonner, Larouci (Longstaff, 89), Kane, Jones.

Unused substitutes: Coyle, Atherton, Christie-Davies, Koumetio.

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CAOIMHIN KELLEHER

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